fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",000,000" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Josef Eduardo <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2014 17:35:20 +0000
Subject: GOOD DAY
We are Financial Services Group that specializes in the management and restructuring of third world and emerging countries multi currency debt as their financial advisers and debt management consultants. Some of our clients are resource rich African countries and two other Middle East Oil producing countries.
Recently, the Government of Angola, an oil rich African country with crude oil production output of over One Million Eight Hundred Thousand Barrels (1,800,000) per day, engaged the services of our company (of which I was in charge) to audit the books of the National Petroleum Company, SONAGOL, we discovered several diversion of funds and inflation of contracts payments resulting from the sale of crude oil to front special purpose vehicles to the sum of Eight Billion U.S. Dollars (US$8,000,000,000.00) over the last three and half years.
At the conclusion of our findings, we were able to recover on behalf of the Government of Angola the sum of Three Billion Two Hundred Million U.S. Dollars (US$3,200,000,000.00). We were advised to pay all legitimate claims due to befitting companies who have executed project with specified Angolan Corporations subject to requisite approvals and clearance from a nominated due diligence advisory in London or Switzerland. Also, we are to invest 20% of the sum in any business we consider viable in the short-medium term.
We have set aside from the recovered amount the sum of US$16,000,000.00 which we intend to transfer to your company by including the name of your company as one of the receiver to be paid. In view of the above, we propose the followings to you: To transfer the sum of US$16,000,000.00 to your company to hold on trust for me and my colleagues subject to approvals. On the terms and condition that you would keep as your share 20% for participation and balance of 80% would be held in trust by you for us subject to our direction.
However, in order to take the transaction further you would require to send the complete details of your company name, address, your private email address, cell phone. I assure you that there is no hazard involved in this operation provided you fulfill obligation that may be required of you and keep to the sharing ratio.
We look forward to your earliest reply to this email address only:firstname.lastname@example.org